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Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulated the working class of the country for their militant demonstrations across the country today against the most undemocratic and authoritarian way in which the BJP government got the anti worker and anti peasant Bills passed in Parliament. Lakhs of workers participated in the protests held in more than a lakh places in all the states in the country.

In utter display of its total contempt for Parliamentary democracy, the BJP government got the three labour Bills – the Code on Industrial Relations, the Code on Social Security and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions – in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha without the presence of opposition members. Earlier the opposition boycotted Parliament protesting against the illegal suspension of 8 MPs for exercising their right to demand division on the Farm Bills, which were also declared passed amidst chaos. It is a shame that an elected government in Parliamentary democracy shows such contempt for constitutional and democratic rights of not only common people but of the elected Members of Parliament as well.

Leaders of the central trade unions who addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar in the national capital exposed the BJP government’s utter untruths about the labour codes benefiting the workers and its claims of taking the trade unions into confidence. The copies of the bills were torn down by the angry protesters. The central trade union leaders also reiterated their support to the all India protests by the farmers on 25th September against the farm bills. With the passage of the labour code bills and the farm bills it has become imperative for the toiling people to unite in their full strength to fight them at the ground. The trade unions called upon all their members and the entire working class to stand in full solidarity with the peasants through physical mobilisation on 25th September 2020.

The Farm Bills and the Labour Bills are nothing but brazen acts to push the working class into 19th century slavery like conditions, drive our small and medium farmers into the deadly grip of the corporate agribusinesses and convert our small farmer based agriculture into corporate agriculture. These along with the whole sale privatisation of the public sector sound the death knell to our self reliant economy and our toiling people. All these are meant to serve the corporate cronies, domestic and foreign, of this BJP government.

Through their massive mobilisations despite the surging Covid, the working class have declared that they would not allow these disastrous policies to continue. They made it known that the toiling people will defy, resist and stop these anti people and anti national measures on the ground, come what may. Let the BJP government warned that powerful struggles lie ahead.

While congratulating the working class for their massive response to the call of the central trade unions, CITU exhorts them to continue the struggle on the ground. It asserts that defiance and resistance is the only way forward to reverse the anti worker neoliberal agenda of the BJP government.

Issued by: 
Hemalata
President

CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT
THE PEASANTS’ UNITED PROTESTS ON 25TH SEPTEMBER
DEMANDS BJP GOVERNMENT TO STOP DESTRUCTIVE ANTI FARMER MEASURES
CALLS FOR COUNTRYWIDE SOLIDARITY ACTIONS BY WORKERS

The joint platform of Central Trade Unions and sectoral federations declares its unstinted support to the initiative of Joint Platform of Peasants and Agricultural Workers Organisations –the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to hold Countrywide Protest and Resistance on 25th September 2020 through massive demonstration, Rail Roko, Rasta Roko etc against the anti-people, anti-farmer destructive legislations being pushed through by the BJP Govt at the centre which was preceded by Ordinances in an authoritarian manner. We also join them in protesting against the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

CTUs and sectoral federations call upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations and across the sector to join actively in the programmes of protest and resistance being organised by the peasants’ organisations in and around their respective areas.

The anti-farmer, anti-people move of the Govt have been initiated by three Ordinances which are aimed at completely restructuring the management of the agricultural economy including farm trade in total favour of the big-landlord corporate nexus and multinational trading cliques on agricultural produce. They virtually kill the rights and entitlements of the agricultural population. The Essential Commodities Act and related anti-hoarding, anti-black-marketing regulations are going to be curbed. The virtual withdrawal of Govt’s role in ensuring fair and remunerative prices for farmers’ produce will pave the way for ultimate doing away with Govt procurement of agricultural produce with minimum support price. In totality, peasant agriculture will be totally ruined, on which survival of more than sixty percent population is dependent. These measures would recklessly promote contract farming at terms and prices dictated by big landlord-corporate nexus including foreign trading cliques, who would usurp monopoly power. Mass of the non agricultural population will also be severely affected and put in miseries since the food security of the country is going to be endangered under new dispensations. The new measures are also aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players like Adani, Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC etc and also the large trading companies, both foreign and domestic.

Two of these destructive ordinances have already been converted into laws in the ongoing Parliament session. They are patently unconstitutional as they encroach upon State subject, destroying federalism in the process. Hence defiance and resistance with a determination not to allow these destructive measures to be implemented in our agricultural economy is the only way before the people. The joint countrywide action by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on 25th September 2020, which may turn into total Bandh in Punjab and Haryana and series of blockades in every corner of the country, is therefore a necessary action to protect the farmers, the food security and the country’s economy. The working class movement firmly stands by it.

CTUs and Federations reiterate their solidarity and support to the call for countrywide protest and resistance actions by peasants on 25th September 2020 and any united actions later on in states and call upon the working people to extend support and organise solidarity programmes across the sectors.

INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC
And Sectoral Federations and Associations

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions welcomes the initiative of Joint Platform of Peasants and Agricultural Workers Organisations –the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to hold Countrywide Protest and Resistance on 25th September 2020 through massive demonstration, Rail Roko, Rasta Roko etc against the anti-people, anti-farmer destructive legislations being pushed through by the BJP Govt at the centre which was preceded by Ordinances in an authoritarian manner. They are also protesting against the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

CITU, while extending active solidarity support to the united struggle of the peasants and agricultural workers calls upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations and across the sector to join actively in the programmes of protest and resistance being organised by the peasants’ organisations in and around their respective areas.

The anti-farmer anti-people move of the Govt have been initiated by three Ordinances which are aimed at completely restructure the management of the agricultural economy including farm trade in total favour of the big-landlord corporate nexus and multinational trading cliques on agricultural produce. They virtually kill the rights and entitlements of the agricultural population. The Essential Commodities Act and related anti-hoarding, anti-black-marketing regulations are going to be curbed. The virtual withdrawal of Govt’s role in ensuring fair and remunerative prices for farmers’ produce will pave the way for ultimate doing away with Govt procurement of agricultural produce with minimum support price. In totality, peasant agriculture will be totally ruined, on which survival of more than sixty percent population is dependent. These measures would recklessly promote contract farming at terms and prices dictated by big landlord-corporate nexus including foreign trading cliques, who would usurp monopoly power. Mass of the non agricultural population will also be severely affected and put in miseries since the food security of the country is going to be endangered under new dispensations. The new measures are also aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players like Adani, Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC etc and also the large trading companies, both foreign and domestic.

These destructive ordinances are going to be converted into laws in the ongoing Parliament session. Hence defiance and resistance with a determination not to allow these destructive measures to be implemented in our agricultural economy is the only way before the people. The joint countrywide action by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on 25th September 2020, which may turn into total Bandh in Punjab and Haryana and series of blockades in every corner of the country, is therefore a necessary action to protect the farmers and the country’s economy. The working class movement welcomes it.

CITU reiterates its solidarity and support to the call for countrywide protest and resistance actions by peasants on 25th September 2020 and calls upon the working people and their unions across the sectors to actively participate in the action programmes of the peasants and agricultural workers.

Issued by:
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the workers of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) for two days strike action on 7th and 8th September 2020 against the destructive and disastrous move of the BJP Govt to privatise BPCL and hand over the profit making company to chosen private hands.  

BPCL was formed by taking over a multinational company through an Act of Parliament in 1976. There had been moves by the same BJP Govt during 2002-2003 to privatise BPCL which could be resisted through united struggles including three days strike by the BPCL workers along with solidarity support by the entire petroleum sector workers’ movement. Consequent upon formation of BPCL in PSU, the company has hugely augmented its refining capacity, network of LPG Terminals/bottling plants and expanded it marketing network throughout the country through huge public investments thereby expanding its asset base to a value of more than Rs 9.5 lakh crore which are all national property.    

The same BJP Govt is now hell bent in handing over this consistently profit making company to its chosen private player through strategic sale route, almost at a throw away price (may be around Rs 60000 crore) despite the  fact that BPCL has been regularly and handsomely contributing to national exchequer through dividend and taxes. The very idea of privatizing BPCL is against the national interest and designed for handing over the monopoly control of petroleum sector to the particular private corporate player of its choice.  

The BPCL workers and their unions have again taken up the challenge to fight back this destructive anti-national move through two days strike action on 7th and 8th September 2020. As per latest report received, from different centres:

BPCL Refineries located in Kochi and Mumbai were in hundred per cent strike on both the days. Only executives joined duty. Most of the LPG Bottling Plants of BPCL in eastern, north-eastern and in northern India were virtually shut down. In the marketing segment of BPCL in northern, eastern India and to a great extent in western India, marketing activities have been severely affected on both the days owing to strike. There have been widespread solidarity demonstrations in numerous establishments by the respective unions throughout the country, particularly in the petroleum sector. All the Central Trade Unions and Federations have also extended their full support to the strike struggle of BPCL workers. 

The two days strike by BPCL workers on 7-8 September 2020, preceded by a three days strike by coal workers in July last against the same destructive privatization, and going to be succeeded by indefinite strike by defence production workers in Ordnance Factories from 12th October 2020 are a pointer towards the gradually developing resistance struggles by the working class against the desperate bid of selling the national assets and destroying national productive capacity by the BJP Govt. CITU calls upon all concerned to carry forward the united struggle to further height. CITU also calls upon all progressive and patriotic sections of society to oppose the BJP government’s measures to hand over national wealth to their corporate cronies, and support the workers’ struggles against such attempts

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly denounces the attempts of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to unbundle the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd, in a bid to privatise it. The government has decided to divide the distribution system into three entities, which will then have to bid for electricity distribution. The government’s decision to privatise electricity sector will lead to increase in the electricity rates and make electricity, an essential service for people, out of reach to the poor, particularly those in the remote rural and tribal areas.

CITU also condemns the vindictive attitude of the UPPCL (Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited) management, which is trying to intimidate and threaten the leaders of the joint struggle committee, instead of discussing with them. The UPPCL has issued notice to 18 leaders of the joint struggle committee threatening them of imprisonment under ESMA, National Disaster Management Act etc

The Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a joint struggle committee of electricity employees and engineers in the state has opposed this and decided to launch a broad movement against privatisation of electricity distribution. It has served notice to the UP government and the management on 24th August and decided to hold protest meetings every working day in all the districts that are covered by the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam, in the first phase of the agitation. These protest meetings are being conducted with huge participation of electricity employees and engineers. Wide campaign is also being conducted among the consumers and the people in general to create awareness about the outcome of unbundling and privatisation on their lives.

CITU congratulates the joint struggle committee for its fearless struggle against the anti worker anti people privatisation of electricity and its determination to continue with its second phase of struggle of indefinite strike and jail bharo to stop privatisation. CITU fully supports its struggle and stands in solidarity with the electricity employees and engineers in UP.

CITU calls upon all its units across the country to send solidarity messages to the Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti of Uttar Pradesh supporting their anti privatisation struggle. CITU also calls upon the people of UP and the entire country to support the struggle in all possible ways.

The struggle against privatisation of electricity is not the struggle of the electricity employees alone. It will impact all sections of society, the common consumers, the peasants, industries and industrial workers. But the BJP government at the centre is going ahead with the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020, which will lead to steep increase in the electricity charges. Thus it is imperative on all sections of the people to oppose this Act along with the electricity employees.

CITU demands the BJP government to immediately withdraw the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill. It calls upon the people to come together against privatisation of electricity and tell the BJP government in unambiguous terms – ‘We Will Not Allow Privatisation of Electricity in Any Manner’.

Issued by:
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Wednesday, 02 September 2020 14:26

Worker- Peasant Acton Day on 5th September 2020 

In continuation of the worker peasant joint struggles including the 9th August 2020 Satyagraha/Jailbharo the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) decided to observe countrywide Worker- Peasant Action Day on 5th September 2020. Rallies dharnas , Padayatras will be organized at village/panchayat/local level on the basic demands of the people.

The unprecedented response to the Jail Bharo/Satyagraha on 9th August 2020 and the action programme on 23 July 2020 called by CITU, AIKS and AIAWU shows the anger among the people against the Modi regime.

The joint meeting of CITU, AIKS and AIAWU held on 20 August 2020 noted that the destructiveness of the government policies in economic, political and social fronts aimed at centralisation and authoritarianism and also to carry on the communal divisive machinations on the society with a diversionary intent, to serve the capitalist landlord classes can be countered only by intensifying the class struggle at the grass root level.

5th September 2020 marks the second anniversary of the historic two lakh strong Worker-Peasant Sangharsh Rally held by CITU,AIKS and AIAWU together in the Capital in 2018.

CITU, AIKS and AIAWU will take up wide campaign against the anti people anti national policies of Modi government implemented in a haste taking advantage of the Covid 19 pandemic and the lock down, to rally them in the struggle. State, district and upto village level joint meetings of CITU-AIKS and AIAWU will be held for preparations. The struggle to further strengthen the coordination between the basic class organisations and consolidate it at all levels to take up the class issues around which a wider people’s movement can be built. It is through such movements the Modi government had to retreat from Land Aquisition ordinance, many privatisation drives etc.

Local demands also will be taken up along with the the demands of Universal Healthcare especially free tests and treatment for Covid-19, Free Ration, Rs.7500 per month income support for next six months, 200 days work in MNREGA @Rs600/-, unemployment allowance and urban employment guarantee, against Ordinances/executive orders on Essential Commodities, Farm Trade, Electricity Act, EIA, NEP 2020, National Digital Health Mission, suspension and altering of Labour Laws and the Privatisation of PSEs and Services.

Issued by

    Hannan Mollah                                          B Venkat                                                  Tapan Sen 
General Secretary                                 General Secretary                                         General Secretary
          AIKS                                                   AIAWU                                                      CITU

Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations/Associations, in its meeting held on 31st August 2020, unanimously denounced the renewed move of the Govt of India to unilaterally and on absolutely arbitrary grounds, impose conditions for forced premature retirement on the Govt employees  vide the Office Memorandum (OM) No. 25013/03/2019-Estt.A-IV dated 28th August 2020 issued by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training, Govt of India.

The above OM arms the Govt with powers to give any Govt employee marching orders after completing 30 years of service or reaching 50/55 years of age or older, i.e., five to ten years before the scheduled date of retirement, through forced premature retirement, on various vague grounds, such as, “ineffectiveness”, “doubtful integrity” etc., to mention only a few. A designated authority stipulated by the said OM is assigned with infinite power to pick and choose the targeted employee for such forced premature retirement on those vague  and arbitrary grounds, and the victim-employee will not have the right to be heard prior to his forced retirement, as natural justice demands. Post-facto, he may approach Advisory Committee appointed by the Government, which amounts to the Executive sitting in Judgment!

Such move of the Govt of India reflects their overall autocratic attitude towards the basic rights of the employees, the workers and their unions, as also revealed by their hell-bent bid to alter all labour laws of the country, seeking to impose conditions of virtual slavery on the workers and complete abrogation of labour rights in favour of the employers, dismantling of Public Sector and some Govt Departments in detriment to national interests. The Govt is likely to use these powers to weed out any employee even remotely suspected of standing up for his/her rights.

The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations/Associations condemns such an authoritarian and arbitrary move of the Govt and demands immediate withdrawal of the said OM forthwith. The Joint Platform of CTUs and Sectoral Federations/Associations also calls upon the Govt employees and their organizations to unitedly and resolutely oppose such autocratic and arbitrary OM with the assurance of wholehearted support in their struggles by the entire trade union movement of the Country.   

        INTUC                      AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

          TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

And Sectoral Federations and Associations

Wednesday, 26 August 2020 14:25

NO TO PRIVATISATION OF BPCL

Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Federations  calls for Observance of Countrywide Solidarity Actions with the Two-days United Strike Action by BPCL Unions Against  Anti-national Move of Privatisation on 7th and 8th September 2020

The meeting of the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Federations held on 24th August 2020 at New Delhi welcomes the decision of the unions of employees of Bharat Petroleum Corporations Ltd (BPCL) to go in for united strike action in BPCL establishments throughout the country on 7th and 8th September 2020 against the  anti-national move of the Government for outright privatization of BPCL through strategic sale and also against brazen attack on the rights of the workers.

The Joint Platform of CTUs and Federations again addressed a joint letter to the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas on 25th August 2020 to refrain from such a  anti-national move  which will deprive the Government of regular annual income of more than Rs.8000/- crores in dividend alone, besides taxes etc.

As decided in the joint meeting, the Joint Platform of CTUs and Federations also calls upon all the unions and federations in the country and workers in general to hold massive solidarity action in respective workplaces and industrial centres on 7th and 8th September 2020 in support of the striking BPCL employees against privatization and attack on labour rights.  

 

       INTUC                    AITUC                   HMS                     CITU                      AIUTUC

         TUCC               SEWA                     AICCTU                    LPF                   UTUC

 And Sectoral Federations and Associations

 

Nearly one crore people in around one lakh places held satyagraha/jailbharo/demonstration despite Lockdown restrictions  throughout the country with slogan “India Not For Sale” “Corporate Loot, Quit India”

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the working class and the peasantry for the massive protest action on 9 August 2020,- on the famous Quit India Day against the anti-national and anti-people policies of the Modi Govt.

As per the reports received yet, nearly one crore workers in one lakh places all over the country participated in the action defying the governments and braving repression and threats. Programmes were held today in AP, Bihar, Delhi, Chhatitsgarh, Gujarat, Haryna, HP, Jharkhand, J&K, Kerala, Maharadhtra, Mp, Odisha, Punjab, Ranjasthan, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In all the states peasantry also joined the action especially at the village level. In many states the participants were arrested and detained. In Tripura the women workers who participated in the satyagraha in Agartala were arrested and detained.

In Delhi programs were orgnised in different industrial areas as well as at Janatar Mantar in which the national leaders of the Central Trade Unions participated. The meeting held there was addressed by Tapan Sen ,General Secretary, CITU, Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary AITUC, Ashok Singh Vice President of INTUC, R K Sharma National Secretary of AIUTUC, Jawahar Singh of LPF, Rajeev Dimri, AICCTU etc. National leaders of CITU K Hemalata, President, M L Malkotia, Treasurer, J S Majumdar, Vice President, S Devroye, A R Sindhu, Amitava Guha, secretaries also participated in the programme at Delhi. V M Singh convenor, All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) which has also joined the call of Save India Day, addressed the meeting. Leaders of AIKS, Hannan Mollah, General Secretary Vijoo Krishnan, Secretary and P Krishnaprasad, Treasurer, Marium Dhawale, General Secretary, AIDWA also joined the protest in New Delhi. Leaders of Insurance, Bank, Defence, Railways etc has also participated in the programme. Striking ASHA workers in Delhi joined the programme in large numbers.

In number of states the programme will be held on 10 August 2020 due to various reasons including complete lockdowns. A joint mobilization by the Central Trade Unions was held at the historic Azad Maidan in Mumbai where the call for ‘Quit India’ movement was announced. In various states organisations of youth, students women etc also joined the programme.

The main feature of the action today is the growing unity in action among the workers, peasants and agricultural workers at the grass root level drawing other sections of the society in the struggle. The massive participation of the scheme workers who were on strike on 7-8 August 2020 was visible in most of the states. The magnificent response from all sections of the people to the call for resistance and defiance shows the possibility to channelize the growing discontent among the people to build a joint movement of the working people based on a strong worker- peasant alliance.

Tapan Sen , 
General Secretary

Saturday, 08 August 2020 11:49

CONDOLENCE

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions is extremely grieved at the passing away of comrade K Vaithinathan, one of the veterans in the trade union movement of Tamilnadu today on 8th August 2020 at the age of 96.

Comrade Vaithinathan’s political life started with his participation in the freedom movement in his early youth. He joined communist movement in early fifties and started working in trade unions in Karaikkal, Pondicherry, probably from early sixties.

Com Vaithinathan had been associated with organizing trade unions in the state of Tamilnadu for more than five decades or so in various sectors of industries and services, like sugar, cement, textile, beedi, water-supply and also played important role in building CITU in unorganized sector as well. He had thorough knowledge about various issues and problems faced by the workers and trade union movement and used to guide many unions of both organized and unorganized sector from CITU state centre.

He had been actively associated with CITU since its foundation conference. Since mid seventies, com Vaithinathan became an integral part of state CITU Centre of Tamilnadu as incharge of the central office, and he had served as state office bearer of CITU as Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Vice President etc.  He was imprisoned at the time of railway strike in 1974 followed by Emergency. Owing to a serious accident he got partially handicapped in physical movement, but even then he used to attend all meeting of CITU including all India meetings viz., CITU general council, working committee etc. He had been a member of CITU General Council since 1983 and a Working Committee member during 1987-1997.

Com Vaithinathan used to stay at CITU office itself and considered CITU as his family. Of late he became seriously ill owing to age and other complications but stayed at CITU office itself under care of other comrades.

Com Vaithinathan’s entire life has been dedicated for the organization and movement. He was an embodiment of commitment, simplicity and revolutionary spirit. At his demise, the trade union movement lost a veteran and experienced leader.

While expressing grief at the demise of Comrade Vaithinathan, CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved comrades and family members and submits its homage of respect to the memory of the departed leader.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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